Countless fantastic finds are dotted around Victoria.
Indoors or outdoors, natural or not, there is plenty to please all tastes.
We’ve rounded up a mere slice of what’s on offer, from lesser-known activities to signature attractions.
Be enchanted by regional Victoria, with a little help from these treasures…
While Mother Nature’s handiwork is at play here, it’s had assistance. The reserve features utterly striking colourful cliffs that protrude dramatically from the surface below. This was once a sluicing site, and the erosion of the earth’s top layer during this mining activity has exposed the colourful rocks witnessed today. Find the eye-catching scene on the fringes of Heathcote and roughly 45km southeast of Bendigo.
Soak in a series of soothing geothermal baths on the edge of the city’s scenic foreshore. Open-air pools and sensory caves are among the super spots to unwind, with soaking sessions available morning, afternoon, and night. The facility includes a day spa and various relaxing experiences.
A climb to the summit of Mt Buninyong is a tad on the underrated side. It’s a pleasant walk, reliably minus big crowds, and the panoramas on show atop this extinct volcano are worth the footsteps required to reach it. The reserve is just 15km south of Ballarat.
As an experiment in the 1930s, a collection of the world’s tallest tree species was planted in these scenic surrounds. Turns out, they thrive in the environment. The neck-craning giants make for incredible viewing and can be spied within a designated picnic area, roughly 30km inland from Apollo Bay. This spot is a short drive from Hopetoun Falls, one of a cluster of flowing features found in this gem-rich national park.
Stay at: BIG4 Apollo Bay.
On the outskirts of Bendigo and surrounded by gorgeous gardens sits a spectacular structure that has been years in the making. This intricate, bright white building is the western world’s largest stupa with a base that measures 50sqm and an overall height of 48m. Self-guided and group tours of the sacred Buddhist pagoda are filled with interest and insight. A must-visit attraction in Bendigo.
The outstanding sensory experience combines lights, lasers, water, sounds, and special effects to retrace the rich past of the Murray River and its surrounding landscapes. The Murray acts as a backdrop for the nightly show, which must be seen first-hand to truly appreciate.
Want more magical Murray experiences? See here.
During the dizzying gold-rush days, this riverside site was a buzzing town called The Junction. Nowadays, it’s a peaceful park that’s ripe for picnics coupled with excellent features to entertain. These include various swimming spots, a giant metal slide, a nearby heritage site, and an operational mineral spring pump. Vaughan Springs is spotted 15km south of Castlemaine.
Stay at: BIG4 Castlemaine.
The Albury-Wodonga area is a dream for mountain bikers with dedicated tracks to suit various abilities and timeframes. The 80km High Country Rail Trail is a signature path: it links Wodonga with the historical location of Shelley and hugs the shores of Lake Hume for much of its journey. Elsewhere, Hunchback Hill MTB Park has 20-plus blue-rated trails while Nail Can Hill, located across the Murray, provides a sterner test.
Billed as the world’s largest surfing museum, this Torquay attraction offers an incredibly comprehensive overview of a sport entrenched in Australian culture. The museum recounts the history of surfing in this country, and its importance on the global stage, via all sorts of interesting exhibitions and a boat-load of memorabilia. A collection of 150-plus surfboards is among the highlights. Captivating, even if surfing isn’t your thing.
With 20 or so wine regions dotted across Victoria, clearly there’s ample variety for a vino-inspired getaway. Gippsland makes a compelling case for it to be the destination of choice. The massive cool-climate district features dozens of mostly boutique wineries scattered across variable landscapes. Many cellar doors provide the most beguiling locations for sipping on a wide selection of whites and reds, led by chardonnay and pinot noir.
Stay at: BIG4 parks in Gippsland.
Those who prefer a pale to a pinot should pay a visit to Aunty Jacks. While craft breweries are becoming a dime a dozen, this Ballarat beauty has distinction. The multi-level fit-out is eclectic and even a touch quirky with ample space and a warm atmosphere. There’s both a generous assortment of delicious brews and tasty tucker.
This Arthurs Seat attraction delivers bucketloads of fun and holds genuine interest for kids of diverse age ranges. It keeps adults entertained, too. The sprawling garden is packed with mazes, an enchanted lake, giant tube slides, canopy walks, a brilliant playground, and more. At an extra cost to the general admission fee are tree-climbing challenges and an exhilarating zipline experience.
Stay at: BIG4 Mornington Peninsula.
Want to explore more of the peninsula? Here is your handy guide.
There are loads of amazing national parks in Australia, but this one has to rank among the best. It bursts with treasure that is jaw-dropping from all angles, including towering peaks, flowing falls, rock pools, ancient Aboriginal rock art and shelters, wildlife, and plenty else. The variety of walking tracks and lookouts is exceptional. Best of all, the park is super easy to reach from the cute village of Halls Gap. Perfect.